by Adam Levon Brown


BOOK REVIEW: La Commedia Sotterranea Della macchina Da Scrivere by Marc Zegans

Upon first picking up this collection, I was astounded at the amount of originality sewn between the first few pages. The prelude “Milonga” is sensuous and filled with vivacious imagery. You can hear the Canaries and Cicadas in the distance, while the lone piano the author describes, performs

for the energetic, dancing crowd. In the middle of this poem, “Their exhaustion keeps them from wondering. ‘What will happen when, with the sun. this milonga ends?” captures, what I believe to be, the essence of being human and alive. This poem captures in a short few lines, what defines the soul of a culture, and many young people’s lives.

From the very first poem, Zegans steals you away from technology and social media and immerses you in the fundamental roadblocks of language and sound, Also known as, paper and ink books. The overarching theme of this astounding collection is surrounded in a shade of luddite craftsmanship which sizzles our current culture of what I like to call, “Insta-Information” I would consider this collection to be protest themed, as it delves into the black market transfixion of underground typewriters, becoming holy and transcendent, the more the book progresses.

The second poem in this collection, is very well thought out explanation and reasons for why the underground typists began. Routed in a form of Tinnitus, individuals who suffer from, “Lack of clack” begin being introduced to typewriters as a form of therapy to cure their ailment. And so the underground Typewriter begins…

In the third poem, Zegans cleverly assuages the reader to throw away numbers for literary pursuits, as the young man, “Elocute,” is terrified of sums. “The equals symbol/brought tears to his eyes.” Zegans is ever more clever here, as he is analogizing technology with numbers, as everything runs from ones and zeroes. Through this analogy of this young man, the beginning of the resistance to technology becomes concentrated.

In, “The Danger Meditations” the author paints a vivid, vibrant scene of where the underground typewriters meet. As the author’s crafty approach to the written word beams itself upon the reader; making the reader want to join this underground group of misfits who do nothing but type all day, a writer’s dream truly.

All in all, this book beckons to be read. Filled with social references, magnetic analogies, and a crisp, exciting story, this book waits for its readers. If you are a writer, luddite, or anyone with an interest in books; then this book is for you.


Adam Levon Brown is an internationally published poet, Mental health advocate/sufferer, and cat lover. He is the author of six poetry books. He has had his work translated in Spanish, Albanian, Arabic, and Afrikaans. Boasting over 350 published poems, you can find his writing at such publications as Burningword, Epigraph, and The Good Men Project.

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Adam Brown, Book Review, Books, Litstyle